Is Aluminum Coming Back To The US? – 05/27/2020

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We hope that everyone had a nice Memorial Day weekend and are starting to enjoy some of these higher copper prices that we have seen over the last week and a half. As it seems that more and more local and state governments are opening up their doors and more people are going back to work in time for the summer that we have seen an increased demand in metals.

On top of that with all of the problems that we saw over the last few months, we have begun to hear more reports of aluminum smelting facilities returning to the United States over the next few years. That could hold very true if we keep seeing a further trade escalation and lack of cooperation, as well as increased initiatives in the United States to grow the commodities business and keep more metals in the country opposed to being exported.

Quick Numbers

  • +35% – The stock markets are up over 35% since bottoming out. 
  • Copper – While not a number, copper is a top-three commodity to watch for post COVID.
  • $4 per ton – Overall increase per ton for the steel markets. 

Social Scrap from Our Facebook Group

We love seeing scrappers asking questions and other scrappers get to answer them quicker than we can! This week iScrapper Shawn W. sent out a picture of stripped copper wire but did not know if it was considered bare bright copper. With 35 quick comments posted more people gave out an overall “no” answer mostly because of how thin that it was. This is why we continue to love working in the scrap community so more and more people learn.


Non-Ferrous Market News

Copper Is Looking Better

The copper markets have shown nice stability and recovery throughout all of 2020. While we did see a decrease at the beginning of March, overall we’re very happy when all things are considered, looking at the last few months of market trading. More and more people have been reinvesting in the US economy and that will give you a higher chance of increased copper prices in the next few months and years.

Is Aluminum Coming Back To The US?

As we mentioned in the opening few paragraphs, we have also started to hear news about the aluminum market which has been far and few between over the last few years. With aluminum prices near low points for the last 10 to 15 years, especially with inflation included, we have seen the markets continuing to drop and remain depressed. Part of the reason was the trade negotiations between the United States and China but that has slowly started to work itself out. We are seeing more and more people looking to bring the aluminum markets back into the country. Now, we have to be able to look at the markets and hope to start to see improvement over the next 3 to 6 months, as it will take that long if not longer to be able to begin to see a swift and rapid recovery.

Reported Non-Ferrous Scrap Prices (5/20 – 5/26):




Savannah, GA Brass $1.09 / lb
Rockaway, NJ #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $2.00 / lb
Sterling, VA Cast Aluminum $0.14 / lb
Livonia, MI THHN Wire $1.00 / lb
Kansas City, KS ACR $0.80 / lb
Hatboro, PA Sheet Aluminum $0.17 / lb
Shawnee, OK Aluminum Cans $0.18 / lb
Galveston, TX Aluminum Rims $0.27 / lb
Salem, OR Romex® Wire $0.85 / lb
Little Rock, AR #1 Copper Tubing $1.60 / lb
Denver, CO Electric Motors (Copper) $0.10 / lb
Benton, TN #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $2.00 / lb

Ferrous Market News

Oil Increase, Prompt Steel Rise

With the oil prices rising over the last two weeks, we have also seen the iron and steel market increasing during that time, as well. Overall, getting through the pandemic was not the worst thing that happened in the commodities market. Multiple metals showed their strength and their flexibility to bounce back as many people talk about a rapid recovery becoming more and more apparent. On top of that, you will see more metals staying in the country over the next few years as reliance on overseas markets will continue to wane and an increase in the mills and melting facilities in the country will increase.

Reported Ferrous Scrap Prices (5/20 – 5/26):




Bunnell, FL Tin $3.50 /CW
Billings, MT Incomplete Car $50 /ton
Green Bay, WI Sheet Iron $0.04 /lb
Marlborough, NH Light Iron $55 /ton
Colton, CA Tin $15 /ton
Duluth, MN Light Iron $30 /ton
Mauston, WI Shreddable Steel $0.02 /lb
Trenton, NJ Light Iron $5.50 /CW
Dallas, TX Tin $4.00 /CW
Detroit, MI Shreddable Steel $56 /ton
Manitoba,Winnipeg* Complete Car $120 /ton

Other Markets

Gold has proven to be very strong over the last few weeks and months as the markets continue to stay above ,700 per ounce. This will affect the electronics market but overall, it’s going to affect much more than that. Having gold at a relatively stable level still shows that there is some instability in the market and the people are concerned with where things are going. What we are looking for is where gold goes over the next two months and if we see it start to decrease that means that more and more people are happy with how the markets are going and that will help the overall efficiency, as well as the stability long term.

Our sister company, has been updating people with all the information in the catalytic converter market over the last few years and we look forward to spreading the word through you, as well. These markets that go into the catalytic converters such as Platinum, Palladium, and Rhodium have been very strong and we have been happy to see where they’ve been moving recently. 


Thank You.

We would like to take a minute to honor all of those that gave their lives during their service over the years as Memorial Day is used to honor those who have fallen. We also would like to take a minute to continue to thank all of the essential workers, as well as the hospital staff and first responders that are out there.

– Tom

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*Canadian Dollar